BSS Core ECP 2023 Introduction

Changes of significance within BSS Examination Checking Procedures Edition 5, Revision 0 - July 2023, compared with Edition 4, Version 0.2 – 28 September 2021

1 - Introduction

This document both highlights and explains the changes of significance within the latest BSS Core Examination Checking Procedures (ECP) [Edition 5, Revision 0 - July 2023] compared with the interim version of 28 September 2021 (Edition 4, Version 0.2).

The changes are drawn from the feedback, comments and observations of BSS Examiners, the BSS Office Team, BSS committee members, BSS trainers and other interested parties. The changes comprise of all that feedback, which was reviewed and agreed by the BSS Technical Committee and are now incorporated into the controlled Edition 5.0 of the ECP, recently distributed to you.

Please note that 139 Checks, that is just over three-quarters of them, are unaltered.

There are 18 ‘minor’ changes to correct typographical errors, improve grammar or use consistent terminology, but these are not listed in this document.

This document and the review process specifically covered the BSS Cores Checks and appendices (Parts 2-9) for Private Boat Requirements and Hire Boat Requirements. HBR authorised Examiners should continue to use the training, aka interim version of the HBR Part 10 Checks distributed in January 2023. The BSS committees will be ratifying and finalising those two documents in due course.

A full review process of the Non-Private Boat Requirements (2002) was started in Spring this year and it is not expected to finalise within the next 12 months. NPBR authorised Examiners, please continue to use the 2002 BSS Standards Parts 2-10 (inc 2019 Section 6.4 CO alarms) for Non-Private Boat Examinations until instructed otherwise.

Changes to glossary terms and Checks are detailed in Annex A [LINK]

Changes to appendices are in Annex B [LINK]

There were associated changes to the various stationery items that arrived with the new ECPs. The covering letter is posted here [LINK]

An explanation of all changes, both minor and significant, will be posted on the examiner and public webpages shortly.

Why all the changes? It is the Scheme’s (Committees, owners and office team) hope that these improvements will have a positive impact on the clarity of the requirements and procedures that will result in improved level of understanding in boat owners and marine trade third parties, as well as aiding you to apply the Checks consistently.

And in that respect, thank you for your comments this far, further feedback will likewise be greatly valued.

2 - ‘What do I need to pay attention to, post September 2021?’

You should note and digest these ‘changes of significance’ because they will help you apply checks more consistently because of increased supporting detail, improved clarity or in eight cases, there has been a slight relaxation of a BSS Requirement or additional compliance options included.

We class changes of significance as those that are:

  • A change in the way something is checked, including a relaxation or additional compliance options*,
  • A check applicability, or Examiner action, or guidance to owner has been changed or removed,
  • A change in recording or alerting process,
  • An improvement to the information provided - in clarity or additional detail especially in glossary terms or the supporting Appendices.

* There were several existing BSS Checks and Appendices that refer to CE marking. As an outcome of exiting the EU, wherever these occurred, the ECPs now includes additional references to UKCA marking and the Recreational Craft Regulations alongside references to CE marking and the Recreational Craft Directive. So, all those checks now refer to both CE and UKCA. To shorten the length of this document, we do not list them individually here.

2.1 Significant changes to Core ECP Checks

Change to the scope of the Check – only one BSS Check has had a significant change to its scope (Check 8.10.4), see full explanation in Annex A, and supporting Appendix entry in Annex B.

New BSS Check reference numbers added – One ‘new’ Check has been ‘squeezed in’. Essentially it is the splitting of an existing Check (2.4.2R - arrestors on fuel tank outlets) into two, one relating to diesel and the other to petrol. The split makes the Requirements for each fuel type clearer and easier to read - see the full explanation in Annex A.

Relaxed Requirement or more compliance options – Eight of the changes involve a slight relaxation of the BSS Requirement or added compliance options, in part to align with latest versions of ISO standards.

Reference to Essential Information in a related Appendix added – three new references have been added within individual Checks to essential information with the supporting Appendices.

New ECP Glossary terms added – Three new Glossary terms have been added, see details in Annex A.

ECP Glossary terms deleted – One Glossary term has been deleted, see Annex A.

2.2 Significant changes to Core ECP Appendices

Changes have been made to material within the following supporting Appendices:

Appendix F - 230V AC Safe Disconnection Process

Appendix G - Disabled, Decommissioned Or Disconnected Systems

Appendix 2 - Supporting ECP Part 2, Permanently installed fuel systems and fixed engines

Appendix 3 - Supporting ECP Part 3, Electrical systems

Appendix 5 - Supporting ECP Part 5, Outboard and portable combustion engines, portable fuel systems and spare fuel

Appendix 6  - Supporting ECP Part 6, Fire extinguishing, Escape and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Appendix 7 - Supporting ECP Part 7, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) systems

Appendices 8/8a - Supporting ECP Part 8, Appliances, flues and ventilation

A full explanation of the changes to the ECP Appendices are set out in Annex B.


Summary and implications of this whole process

These changes are part of a large number of changes to the ECP splitting of Check actions, swapping some Check numbers, text and information improvements that are designed to result in greater consistency in applying the BSS Checks. These will help everyone’s understanding and application of the BSS Checks, whether they are BSS Examiners, boat owners or members of the marine industry.

However, leading from the improvements in clarity and understanding of the Checks, reinforced with recent extensive training of Examiners, situations could arise where an item may be newly discovered as non-compliant and so could require some adjustments or work to meet compliance and improve safety.

Similarly, the improvements may also address the relatively uncommon situation of any previous over-application the published BSS Requirements.

While not guaranteed, it may help to prevent these scenarios if boat owners are encouraged to talk with their BSS Examiner and prepare well ahead of the examination by assessing their boat against the checks. This may ensure as far as possible the boat is ready for examination, hopefully pass first time and prevent unwelcome news and a potential return visit. We have helpful advice here.

Following a public consultation, the changes also saw the introduction of two increased BSS Requirements and 20 relaxations arising through lessening of some requirements or expanding potential compliance options.

Full details of the results of the public consultation on this page [LINK]